Council of Europe: States must do more to stamp out ethnic profiling


States should pass laws banning ethnic profiling, force the police to take stronger action against racism and ensure clear political leadership against discriminatory practices, says a resolution passed at the end of January by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

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The text below is a news story originally published by PACE on 28 January 2021. The resolution is available here: Ethnic profiling in Europe: a matter of great concern (pdf)

States must do more to stamp out ethnic profiling

European countries must pass laws to ban “ethnic profiling”, if they have not already done so, and encourage police forces to take stronger action against racist behaviour, PACE has said.

Approving a resolution based on a report by Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), the Assembly pointed out that the discriminatory practice of ethnic profiling – when police stop or investigate people without objective grounds based on their ethnicity – was still “widespread” across Europe.

The practice contributed to prejudice, stigmatised parts of the population, undermined public confidence in the police, and reduced the efficiency of police work by making it more predictable, the parliamentarians said.

They called on political leaders and police chiefs to condemn the practice clearly, and called for records to be kept of “stop and search” operations, as well as clear identification of officers engaged in such operations.

They also urged anti-racism training for police, well-resourced independent complaints mechanisms, and greater implementation of relevant recommendations by the Council of Europe’s anti-racism body ECRI.

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