Racial/ethnic profiling is a form of institutionalized racism and entails the discriminatory use of personal attributes (such as skin color, ethnic or religious affiliation, national origin or language) as a basis for identity checks and searches without a concrete warrant by the police.
Please sign our petition to the German Parliament:
Text of the petition:
* What, in concrete terms, do you wish to achieve with your petition?
We, the petitioners, are calling on the German Bundestag and the Federal Government:
• To adopt and permanently and sustainably enforce anti-racism trainings that strengthen the awareness of racial/ethnic profiling in the regional police and the federal police forces, thus ensuring that the police carry out their constitutional duties without regard to national origin or “skin color” of an individual, as is provided by article 3 of the Basic Law (German constitution). Both basic police training as well as continued education of officers must respond to this challenge adequately.
• To institute an amendment to the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) in § 2 AGG in order to recognize racial/ ethnic profiling as an act of discrimination, which is illegal.
• To prohibit identity checks so called “controls without suspicion”. These identity checks rest on subjective judgment of officers, who tend to select people based on ascribed „ethnic“ affiliation or „skin color” without any other reason at hand and hence eventually lead to racial/ ethnic profiling.
• To create fully transparent and independent administrative structures for reporting misconduct of police officers. These events need to be analyzed and processed by an independent and competent review body. A nationwide statistic would have to be made in this regard.
*What is the reason for your petition?
Racial/ ethnic profiling is a form of institutionalized racism and entails the discriminatory use of personal attributes (such as skin color, ethnic or religious affiliation, national origin or language) as a basis for identity checks and searches without a concrete warrant by the police.
While the judicial issue remains unsolved in the European context, the US have achieved the broad consensus that racial/ethnic profiling is inadmissible for the conduct of police measures.
Black People and People of Color (PoC) in Germany regularly become targets of racial/ethnic profiling by the police in trains, train stations as well as airports and other public places. Through these checks they are publically marked as suspects and at the same time suspected to be illegalized immigrants.
In December 2010, a black German traveling from Koblenz to Frankfurt was asked to identify himself as part of a “control without suspicion” by the Federal Police. Since he had witnessed more than once that Blacks and People of Color were controlled for no reason, while other passengers did not have to identify themselves, he refused to present his papers and was then searched and taken into custody. A suit directed against such action before the Administrative Court of Koblenz was dismissed. In its decision the court deemed these kinds of stop and searches necessary stating “skin color” was a reasonable criteria and part of legitimate police work based on the border patrol’s experience.
A number of associations, organizations and individuals who work for equal rights were shocked by the verdict, as it legitimized categorization based on appearance by the police. These types of stop and searches create discriminating conditions for people with supposedly non-German appearance. It also allows Federal Police officers an expanded scope of action that justifies racist and discriminatory mindsets and practices. The first court decision was revised in October. Still, the legal situation needs clarification from the legislature.
International and European bodies such as the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights have stated likewise that identity checks and identity findings that are based solely or mainly on criteria such as assumed „ethnic” affiliation or „skin color“ of a person violate the prohibition of racial discrimination.
Also international and European bodies like the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Union Agency for Human Rightshave stated that identity checks that solely or majorly are based on criteria like ascribed “ethnic” affiliation or “skin color” of a person are violating the prohibition of racist discrimination.
The German Government signed the final statement of the 3rd World Conference in Durban, where all signing states agreed to:
„…to design, implement and enforce effective measures to eliminate the phenomenon popularly known as “racial profiling” and comprising the practice of police and other law enforcement officers relying, to any degree, on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin as the basis for subjecting persons to investigatory activities or for determining whether an individual is engaged in criminal activity“
The Schengen border codex states regarding border controls that member states of the European Union have to honor human rights standards while conducting such checks. Hence, racist discrimination is explicitly forbidden.