What is Racial Profiling?
Amnesty International defines racial profiling as the targeting of individuals and groups by law enforcement officials, even partially, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, except where there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links persons belonging to one of the aforementioned groups to an identified criminal incident or scheme.
A breach of international law
Racial / ethnic profiling violates Art. 1 of the Anti-Racism Convention (ICERD) and of Art. 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Both forbid that people are treated differently on grounds of race and States Parties undertake to actively counteract any form of racism.
Racial / ethnic profiling is also a breach of the prohibition of discrimination, that the human right to be no discrimination on racial grounds or on the basis of the supposed origin or religion. This human right in Art. 2 and 26 of the UN ICCPR, enshrined in Art. 14 of the ECHR, not least in Art. 3 para. 3 of the Basic Law. The exercise of police powers based on the mentioned attributions and without attachment to a concrete suspicion is always contrary to human rights.
A discriminatory practice
Police statistics show that the practice of racial / ethnic profiling hardly provides search results. It always makes racial discrimination an attack on the foundation of human rights: the equal dignity of all people. Racial / ethnic profiling reinforces existing social and individual stereotypes and prejudices. For all concerned, a then-based control in public is a degrading experience - many people experience it regularly.