Racial profiling

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Racial profiling or ethnic profiling is the act of suspecting, targeting or discriminating against a person on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or nationality, rather than on individual suspicion or available evidence.[1][2] Racial profiling involves discrimination against minority populations and often builds on negative stereotypes of the targeted demographic.[3][4][5] Racial profiling can involve disproportionate stop searches, traffic stops, and the use of surveillance technology for facial identification.

Canada[edit]

Accusations of racial profiling of visible minorities who accuse police of targeting them due to their ethnic background is a growing concern in Canada. In 2005, the Kingston Police released the first study ever in Canada which pertains to racial profiling. The study focused on the city of Kingston, Ontario, a small city where most of the inhabitants are white. The study showed that black-skinned people were 3.7 times more likely to be pulled over by police than white-skinned people, while Asian and White people are less likely to be pulled over than Black people.[6] Several police organizations condemned this study and suggested more studies like this would make them hesitant to pull over visible minorities.

Canadian Aboriginals are more likely to be charged with crimes, particularly on reserves. The Canadian crime victimization survey does not collect data on the ethnic origin of perpetrators, so comparisons between incidence of victimizations and incidence of charging are impossible.[7] Although aboriginal persons make up 3.6% of Canada's population, they account for 20% of Canada's prison population. This may show how racial profiling increases effectiveness of police, or be a result of racial profiling, as they are watched more intensely than others.[8]

In February 2010, an investigation of the Toronto Star daily newspaper found that black people across Toronto were three times more likely to be stopped and documented by police than white people. To a lesser extent, the same seemed true for people described by police as having "brown" skin (South Asians, Arabs and Latinos). This was the result of an analysis of 1.7 million contact cards filled out by Toronto Police officers in the period 2003–2008.[9]

The Ontario Human Rights Commission states that "police services have acknowledged that racial profiling does occur and have taken [and are taking] measures to address [the issue], including upgrading training for officers, identifying officers at risk of engaging in racial profiling, and improving community relations".[10] Ottawa Police addressed this issue and planned on implementing a new policy regarding officer racially profiling persons, "the policy explicitly forbids officers from investigating or detaining anyone based on their race and will force officers to go through training on racial profiling".[11] This policy was implemented after the 2008 incident where an African-Canadian woman was strip searched by members of the Ottawa police. There is a video showing the strip search where one witnesses the black woman being held to the ground and then having her bra and shirt cut ripped/cut off by a member of the Ottawa Police Force which was released to the viewing of the public in 2010.[11]

China[edit]

The Chinese government has been using a facial recognition surveillance technology, analysing physiognomical output of surveillance cameras to track and control Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in China's Western province of Xinjiang. The extent of the vast system was published in the spring of 2019 by the NYT who called it "automated racism".[12] In research projects aided by European institutions it has combined the facial output with people's DNA, to create an ethnic profile. The DNA was collected at the prison camps, which are interning more than one million Uyghurs, as had been corroborated in November 2019 by data leaks, such as the China Cables.[13][14]

Germany[edit]

In February 2012, the first court ruling concerning racial profiling in German police policy, allowing police to use skin color and "non-German ethnic origin" to select persons who will be asked for identification in spot-checks for illegal immigrants.[15] Subsequently, it was decided legal for a person submitted to a spot-check to compare the policy to that of the SS in public.[16] A higher court later overruled the earlier decision declaring the racial profiling unlawful and in violation of anti-discrimination provisions in Art. 3 Basic Law and the General Equal Treatment Act of 2006.[17]

The civil rights organisation Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung (Office for the Implementation of Equal Treatment) makes a distinction between criminal profiling, which is legitimate in Germany, and ethnic profiling, which is not.[18]

According to a 2016 report by the Interior ministry in Germany, there had been an increase in hate crimes and violence against migrant groups in Germany.[19] The reports concluded that there were more than 10 attacks per day against migrants in Germany in 2016.[19] This report from Germany garnered the attention of the United Nations, which alleged that people of African descent face widespread discrimination in Germany.[20]

A 2017 statement by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights after a visit to Germany states: "While the Basic Law guarantees equality, prohibits racial discrimination, and states that human dignity is inviolable, it is not being enforced." and calls racial profiling by police officials endemic. Recommendations include legal reform, establishing an independent complaint system, training and continuing education for the police, and investigations to promote accountability and remedy.[21]

Ethiopia[edit]

Ethnic profiling against Tigrayans occurred during the Tigray War that started in November 2020, with Ethiopians of Tigrayan ethnicity being put on indefinite leave from Ethiopian Airlines or refused permission to board,[22] prevented from overseas travel,[23] and an "order of identifying ethnic Tigrayans from all government agencies and NGOs" being used by federal police to request a list of ethnic Tigrayans from an office of the World Food Programme.[24] Tigrayans' houses were arbitrarily searched and Tigrayan bank accounts were suspended.[23] Ethnic Tigrayan members of Ethiopian components of United Nations peacekeeping missions were disarmed and some forcibly flown back to Ethiopia, at the risk of torture or execution, according to United Nations officials.[25][26]

Israel[edit]

In 1972, terrorists from the Japanese Red Army launched an attack that led to the deaths of at least 24 people at Ben Gurion Airport. Since then, security at the airport has relied on a number of fundamentals, including a heavy focus on what Raphael Ron, former director of security at Ben Gurion, terms the "human factor", which he generalized as "the inescapable fact that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and stopped by an effective security methodology."[27] As part of its focus on this so-called "human factor", Israeli security officers interrogate travelers using racial profiling, singling out those who appear to be Arab based on name or physical appearance.[28] Additionally, all passengers, including those who do not appear to be of Arab descent, are questioned as to why they are traveling to Israel, followed by several general questions about the trip in order to search for inconsistencies.[29] Although numerous civil rights groups[which?] have demanded an end to the profiling, the Israeli government maintains that it is both effective and unavoidable.[30] According to Ariel Merari, an Israeli terrorism expert,[31] "it would be foolish not to use profiling when everyone knows that most terrorists come from certain ethnic groups. They are likely to be Muslim and young, and the potential threat justifies inconveniencing a certain ethnic group."[32]

Mexico[edit]

The General Law on Population (Reglamento de la Ley General de Poblacion) of 2000 in Mexico has been cited as being used to racially profile and abuse immigrants to Mexico.[33] Mexican law makes illegal immigration punishable by law and allows law officials great discretion in identifying and questioning illegal immigrants.[33] Mexico has been criticized for its immigration policy. Chris Hawley of USA Today stated that "Mexico has a law that is no different from Arizona's", referring to legislation which gives local police forces the power to check documents of people suspected of being in the country illegally.[34] Immigration and human rights activists have also noted that Mexican authorities frequently engage in racial profiling, harassment, and shakedowns against migrants from Central America.[34]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils traveling from the Northern Province and Eastern Province in Sri Lanka have to compulsory register with the Police and mandatory carry a police certificate as per the Prevention of Terrorism Act and emergency regulations if found not living in the house in the certificate they could be arrested.[35][36][37][38][39][40][41] In 2007 Tamils were expelled from Colombo. The move to expel these people drew wide criticism of the government. The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka condemned the act, asking the government of Sri Lanka to ensure the constitutional rights of all the citizens of the country.[42] Norway also condemned the act, describing it as a clear violation of international human rights law. Their press release urged government of Sri Lanka to desist from any further enforced removals.[43] Canada has also condemned the action.[44] Human rights groups, Local think tank and other observers have termed this act as "ethnic cleansing".[45][46][47][48][49][50] The media group said that this type of act reminds people of what "Hitler did to the Jews",[51] and the Asian Center of Human Rights urged India to intervene.[52]

Spain[edit]

Racial profiling by police forces in Spain is a common practice.[53] A study by the University of Valencia, found that people of non-white aspect are up to ten times more likely to be stopped by the police on the street.[54] Amnesty International accused Spanish authorities of using racial and ethnic profiling, with police singling out people who are not white in the street and public places.[55][56]

In 2011, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) urged the Spanish government to take "effective measures" to ethnic profiling, including the modification of existing laws and regulations which permit its practice.[57] In 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur, Mutuma Ruteere, described the practice of ethnic profiling by Spanish law enforcement officers "a persisting and pervasive problem".[58] In 2014, the Spanish government approved a law which prohibited racial profiling by police forces.[59]

United Kingdom[edit]

Racial issues have been prevalent in the UK for a long time. For example, following the Windrush influx of immigrants from the Caribbean and West Indies following the Second World War, racial tensions began to flare up in the country - see the Notting Hill Race Riot. The most recent statistics from the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford 2019 show that people born outside of the UK made up 14% of the UKs population or 9.5 million people. Black Brits makeup 3% of the population and Indian Britons occupy 2.3% of the population with the remainder being largely EU or North American migrants.[60]

An increase in knife crime in the capital in recent decades has led to an increase in police stop and search powers. However there are concerns that these powers lead to discrimination and racial profiling with stats showing that there were 54 stops and searches for every 1000 black people compared to just 6 for every 1000 white people.[61] Following social dissatisfaction and claims of institutional racism, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published ‘The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in 2021, finding overall that there was no institutional racism in the UK.[62] The report and its findings were criticised by many including the United Nations working group who argued that the report ‘attempts to normalise white supremacy’ and could ‘fuel racism’.[63]

United States[edit]

In the United States, racial profiling is mainly used when referring to the disproportionate searching of African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, and Middle Eastern and South Asians, along with other visible minorities. Sociologist Robert Staples said that racial profiling in the U.S. is "not merely a collection of individual offenses", but rather a systemic phenomenon across American society, dating back to the era of slavery.[64]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ethnic Profiling: What It Is and Why It Must End". www.opensocietyfoundations.org. Open Society Foundations. May 2019. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  2. ^ "Racial Profiling: Definition". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  3. ^ Chan, Janet (2011). "Racial Profiling and Police Subculture". Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 53 (1): 75–78. doi:10.3138/cjccj.53.1.75.
  4. ^ "Profiling". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
  5. ^ Warren, Patricia Y.; Farrell, Amy (2009). "The Environmental Context of Racial Profiling". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 623: 52–63. doi:10.1177/0002716208330485. JSTOR 40375886. S2CID 146368789.
  6. ^ "Police stop more blacks, Ont. study finds". CBC News. May 27, 2005. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Brzozowski, Jodi-Anne; Taylor-Butts, Andrea; Johnson, Sara (6 June 2006), Victimization and offending among the Aboriginal population in Canada, vol. 26, Statistics Canada
  8. ^ "Aboriginal people over-represented in Saskatchewan's prisons". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  9. ^ Rankin, Jim (2010-02-06). "When good people are swept up with the bad". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 29, 2010. When good people are swept up with the bad - We're not trying to make any excuses for this. We recognize that bias in police decision making is a big, big issue for us, and so we're working really hard on it.
  10. ^ Griffiths, Curt (2008). Canadian Police Work. Toronto: Nelson Education. p. 311. ISBN 978-0176424107.
  11. ^ a b "Ottawa police introduce new racial profiling policy". CTV News. 2011-08-16. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23.
  12. ^ Mozur, Paul (2019-04-14). "One Month, 500,000 Face Scans: How China Is Using A.I. to Profile a Minority". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  13. ^ Wee, Sui-Lee; Mozur, Paul (2019-12-03). "China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  14. ^ "Huawei patent mentions use of Uighur-spotting tech". BBC News. 13 January 2021.
  15. ^ "The World from Berlin: Profiling Ruling 'Sows Seeds of Distrust and Racism'". Spiegel Online. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  16. ^ "Anwaltskanzlei Sven Adam Polizei-, Ordnungs- und Versammlungsrecht Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main - Az.: 2 Ss 329/11".
  17. ^ Rath, Christian (2012-10-30). "Urteil zu Kontrollen nach Hautfarbe: Gericht verbietet Polizei-Rassismus" [Judgment on checks on skin color: Court bans police racism]. Die Tageszeitung: taz (in German). ISSN 0931-9085. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  18. ^ "What is ethnic profiling?". www.bug-ev.org. Archived from the original on 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  19. ^ a b "Germany hate crime: Nearly 10 attacks a day on migrants in 2016". BBC News. 2017-02-26. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  20. ^ Saeed, Saim (2017-02-28). "UN says racial profiling widespread in Germany". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  21. ^ "Statement to the media by the United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, on the conclusion of its official visit to Germany, 20-27 February 2017". Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  22. ^ Zelalem, Zecharias (2020-12-04). "Ethiopia Airlines accused of ethnic profiling over civil war with Tigray". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2021-01-23. Retrieved 2021-01-16. Alt URL
  23. ^ a b Freudenthal, Emmanuel (17 December 2020). "Ethnic profiling of Tigrayans heightens tensions in Ethiopia". The New Humanitarian. Archived from the original on 2021-01-16.
  24. ^ "Ethiopian police seeking lists of ethnic Tigrayans – U.N. report". Thomson Reuters. 13 November 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-01-16. Ethiopian police visited a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) office in Amhara region to request a list of ethnic Tigrayan staff, according to an internal U.N. security report seen by Reuters on Friday. ... The U.N. report said that the local police chief informed the WFP office of "the order of identifying ethnic Tigrayans from all government agencies and NGOs".
  25. ^ Houreld, Katharine (17 December 2020). "Exclusive: Ethiopia says disarms Tigrayan peacekeepers in Somalia over security". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2021-01-16.
  26. ^ "U.N. Fears Ethiopia Purging Ethnic Tigrayan Officers From Its Peacekeeping Missions". Foreign Policy. 23 November 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-01-16. The Ethiopian government has been rounding up ethnic Tigrayan security forces deployed in United Nations and African peacekeeping missions abroad and forcing them onto flights to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, where it is feared they may face torture or even execution, according to an internal U.N. account.
  27. ^ "What can we learn from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel to help push aviation security in the U.S. to the next level?". SecuritySolutions.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-08. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  28. ^ International Herald Tribune, Israeli airport security order dancer to prove identity with dance steps, September 9, 2008
  29. ^ Somin, Ilya (2007-11-27). "Airport Security in Israel". The Volokh Conspiracy. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  30. ^ Hasisi, Badi; Margalioth, Yoram; Orgad, Liav (2012). "Ethnic Profiling In Airport Screening: Lessons From Israel, 1968-2010". American Law and Economics Review. 14 (2): 517–560. doi:10.1093/aler/ahs009. JSTOR 42705624.
  31. ^ Lee, Dave (2010-11-17). "New study delves inside a suicide bomber's mind". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  32. ^ "Rights group challenges Israel's airport security". Associated Press. March 19, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  33. ^ a b Seper, Jerry (2010-05-03). "Mexico's illegals laws tougher than Arizona's". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  34. ^ a b Hawley, Chris (May 25, 2010). "Activists blast Mexico's immigration law". USA Today.
  35. ^ Anoma Pieris (25 October 2018). Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation. Taylor & Francis. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-351-24632-3. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  36. ^ Sharika Thiranagama (16 August 2011). In My Mother's House: Civil War in Sri Lanka. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 250–. ISBN 978-0-8122-0511-4. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
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  42. ^ "The United States condemns the forced removal of Tamils". press release June 2007. U.S. Department of State. 2007-06-08. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
  43. ^ "Norway condemns enforced removal of Tamils from Colombo". press release June 2007. Norway - the official site in Sri Lanka. 2007-06-08. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  44. ^ "Canada condemns 'dislodging' of Tamils". Dailymirrir. 2007-06-08. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  45. ^ "Police evict Tamils from Colombo". BBC News. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  46. ^ ""Ethnic Cleansing" in Sri Lanka?". Time. 2007-06-11. Archived from the original on June 15, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  47. ^ Apex court halts eviction of Tamils from Colombo
  48. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  49. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (2007-06-08). "Ethnic cleansing claim after police move Tamils at gunpoint". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  50. ^ Gardner, Simon (2007-06-08). "Sri Lanka court blocks state deportation of Tamils". Reuters.
  51. ^ Amal, Jayasinghe (2007-06-07). "Sri Lanka police evict ethnic Tamils from capital". AFP. Retrieved 2007-06-07.[dead link]
  52. ^ "Deportation of Tamils from Colombo is reminiscent of The Holocaust". 2007-06-08. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
  53. ^ "The police have arrested me 160 times just because of my appearance".
  54. ^ "Identificación policial por perfil étnico en españa" (PDF).
  55. ^ Giles, Ciaran; Clendenning, Alan (2011-12-14). "Spain police accused of racial profiling". The Independent. Associated Press. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  56. ^ Frayer, Lauren (2012-05-29). "Spanish Police Accused Of Racially Profiling". NPR. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  57. ^ "Examen de los informes presentados por los Estados partes de conformidad con el artículo 9 de la Convención: España" (PDF).
  58. ^ "Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere" (PDF).
  59. ^ Navarro, Mayka (2014-07-11). "Interior prohíbe por ley las identificaciones por razones étnicas". elPeriodico (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  60. ^ Vargas-Silva, Carlos. "Dr". migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk. The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  61. ^ "Stop and search". gov.uk. UK Home Office. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  62. ^ "The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities". gov.uk. Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  63. ^ "Race report: UN experts say conclusions could 'fuel racism'". BBC News. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  64. ^ Staples, Robert (2011). "White Power, Black Crime, and Racial Politics". The Black Scholar. 41 (4): 31–41. doi:10.5816/blackscholar.41.4.0031. ISSN 0006-4246. S2CID 142012734.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baker, Al. "Judge Declines to Dismiss Case Alleging Racial Profiling by City Police in Street Stops." The New York Times. Nytimes.com, 31 August 2011. Web. 26 April 2012
  • Baumgartner, Frank R.; Epp, Derek A.; Shoub, Kelsey (July 10, 2018). Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race.
  • Glaser, Jack. 2014. Suspect Race: Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling (Oxford University Press)
  • Kaufmann, Mareile (2010). Ethnic profiling and counter-terrorism : examples of European practice and possible repercussions. Berlin: LIT Verlag. ISBN 978-3-64-310447-2.
  • Ruiz, James; Julseth, Jason W.; Winters, Kathleen H. (2010). "Profiling, Cajun Style: The FBI Investigation?". International Journal of Police Science & Management. 12 (3): 401–425. doi:10.1350/ijps.2010.12.3.173. S2CID 143646245.
  • Ryberg, Jesper (2011). "Racial Profiling And Criminal Justice". Journal of Ethics. 15 (1/2): 79–88. doi:10.1007/s10892-010-9098-3. S2CID 143762533.
  • Shantz, Jeff. 2010. Racial Profiling and Borders: International, Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Lake Mary: Vandeplas).
  • Weitzer, Ronald; Tuch, Steven. 2006. Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform (New York: Cambridge University Press).
  • Kocieniewski, David (2000-11-29). "New Jersey Argues That the U.S. Wrote the Book on Race Profiling". New York Times. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  • Michal Tamir, "Racial Profiling – Who is the Executioner and Does he have a Face?" 15 Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy (2009) 71-9

External links[edit]