CERD Draft General recommendation on Preventing and Combating Racial Profiling

PHRP, in collaboration with colleagues from the Amnesty’s TechTeam and Law-and-Policy Programme, responded to a call for contribution by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on their Draft General recommendation No. 36 on Preventing and Combating Racial Profiling.

PHRP welcomes the initiative of the Committee to strengthen the international standards both with regard to ‘analogue’ ethnic profiling as well as with regard to the risk of bias and discrimination posed by the deployment of artificial intelligence systems. In order to effectively address these issues, it is considered of great importance that the General recommendation acknowledges the various different forms in which ethnic profiling can manifest itself and urges States to take concrete actions to counter it: these include adopting a solid policy framework to guide law enforcement decision-making, practical training conveying the necessary skills to make objective decisions, and ensuring effective accountability of individual officers, supervisors and the law enforcement agency as a whole. With regard to Artificial Intelligence, it should be highlighted that facial recognition software should not be deployed unless compliance with international human rights law can be ensured, and that predictive policing systems pose a serious risk of perpetuating and exacerbating existing discrimination. States should ensure full transparency of artificial intelligence systems as well as effective accountability for decisions taken as a result of their deployment.

Amnesty International’s submission to the Committee can be found here.