Who we are
The «Alliance Against Racial Profiling» is an association of activists, scientists and cultural workers; as well as human rights organizations and people who jointly fight institutional racism in the Swiss police and border patrol authorities. The measures we are choosing are just as diverse as the Alliance, and range from scientific studies, process observations in court, media work on political and cultural events, to campaigns and public statements.
We are a movement.
Our objectives are
- Empower people affected by racism to make a stand against or oppose (it), jointly with allies; to strengthen the anti-racism resistance;
- Produce and teach critical knowledge on racial profiling and structural racism;
- Intervene in the public discussion;
- Build up pressure on institutions, e.g. politics, justice, police and border patrol, and implement effective countermeasures against racist controls;
Includes an article on sanctioning racial profiling in the constitution.
Our standpoints are
- We understand racism as a societal problem that is based on historically developed «myths of supremacy» and on a «culture of distinction». Racism, primarily, is not a problem of attitude or behavior of the individual, but rather set out to be in the racist discourse and institutional(ized) actions. It has to be taken seriously as such, investigated and prevented with the appropriate measures.
- We determine, that racist motivated police controls belong to a repeated experience of many throughout Switzerland. Currently primarily affected are younger people of all gender with darker skin, of North African, Arabic, and South-East European descent as well as Roma, Sinti and Jenisch.
- We find that people affected by racial profiling are often, without any concrete motive, exposed to the suspicion of having committed a crime. In other cases, inspecting/controlling police officers arbitrarily assume that a «foreign» looking person probably is in Switzerland without any right of residence. Additionally, in places where criminality and common conflicts frequently occur, controls and removal orders are being enacted disproportionately against the groups previously mentioned, without an objective reason.
- Discriminatory controls are humiliating and stigmatizing for the people affected. They lead to insecurity, are inefficient and sustainably damaging the relationship between the controlled (person), the migrant population and the police officers.
The experiences of the controlled people and the conducted investigations regarding racial profiling show that justice is not capable of providing sufficient legal support for the people affected nor a fair treatment, and (precisely) thus contribute to the legitimization of structural racism. And, unfortunately, justice sentences the accused, despite the fact that they are actually the victim.
What we demand
In light of these systematic offenses against international and constitutional law, we demand sustainable measures, who efficiently bring about the importance of the prevention of racial profiling in the mission statements, routines, leadership styles as well as in the distribution of resources and communication of the police and the border patrol authorities. In particular, we demand:
- Statutory prohibitions against discrimination in the federal, cantonal and communal police law as well as in the law on aliens, and the customs law.
- The police and border patrol authorities assume their responsibility to verify their practices regarding discriminatory effects and to introduce a system of receipts, i.e. police officers issue a receipt for every check of a person that contains general information regarding the control.
- Discriminatory practices and consequences through their work are to be reflected upon and fought against preventively with appropriate and legally binding measures. This includes measures in the educational and personnel management, in interacting and supervising as well as dialoging and trust building.
As the legal process has no meaning, taking into account the great many process-related, economic and psychological obstacles that impede the access to justice, and given that investigations by the police and the prosecution during the preliminary examination are often insufficient, because colleagues protect each other and agree on what to say or the prosecution does not investigate sufficiently, the Alliance moreover demands
On the federal and cantonal level as well as in cities, independent investigations entities shall be created. These entities shall be authorized to investigate impartially all complaints due to discriminatory experiences, mistreatment or racial profiling by the police, to launch mediation processes and, if necessary, to report an offence and file an administrative appeal.
The procedures are free of charge.