Racial profiling: Empirical findings for Germany (March 2023 – February 2024)

Prejudices and stereotypes pose a threat to social cohesion in an immigration society, which is why such attitudes are problematic across all social milieus. Prejudicial actions by the security authorities can have particularly serious consequences: The term applied to the police deeming a person to be suspicious merely on account of their ethnic origin, for instance, and then conducting an ID check is “racial profiling”. That kind of discrimination constitutes a violation of Article 3 (3) of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz, GG) and of the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG). People who are subjected to ethnically-biased ID checks can suffer serious mental health consequences, for instance. The debate around racial profiling has been very controversial in recent years. As yet, though, there are hardly any empirically verified findings concerning the extent of racial profiling in Germany.

This is the first project to investigate racial profiling on a broad database. Data collected for the SVR Integration Barometer on self-assessed phenotypical differences, among others, will be compared with data on how often and where the police stop and check people. The key question is whether people who state that they are perceived as phenotypically different are stopped and checked without cause, and thus discriminated against, more frequently.

The project runs until early 2024; results will be published in a policy brief.

Maximilian Müller
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Telefon: 030. 288 86 59 – 14
email hidden; JavaScript is required