Why did India refrain from voting against China in the Human Rights Council? Uighurs were to be discussed

India on Thursday did not participate in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on a resolution promoting human rights in Sri Lanka. But urged the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its commitments to the Tamil minorities. During this, India also did not participate in the UNHRC on a draft resolution called for a debate on the human rights situation in the Xinjiang region of China.

India did not participate in voting on a draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the human rights situation in China’s troubled Xinjiang region. Human rights groups have been ringing alarm bells for years over incidents (of human rights abuses) in the resource-rich northwestern Chinese province. They allege that China has detained more than one million Uighurs in alleged “re-education camps” against their will.

China has always been obstructing India’s drafts. But India has not given the reason behind refraining from voting against China. The final vote on the draft went in favor of China. The draft resolution was rejected in the 47-member council, as 17 members voted in favor and 19 countries, including China, voted against the draft resolution. 11 countries including India, Brazil, Mexico and Ukraine did not take part in the vote. The subject of the draft resolution was “Discussion on the Human Rights Situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China”.

The draft proposal was submitted by a core group comprising Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US, and was co-sponsored by several countries, including Turkey. Sophie Richardson, China’s director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that for the first time in its history, the UN’s top human rights body considered a proposal to debate the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang region. Serious allegations of human rights violations against Uighurs and other Muslim-majority communities in China have been brought to the attention of the UN Human Rights Office and the UN human rights apparatus since late 2017.

People familiar with the matter said India has traditionally voted against or avoided any country-specific resolutions at the UNHRC. It is understood that given China’s presence within the UNHRC, India took the decision as India voting against China on the Xinjiang issue meant that China could also vote against India on similar issues.

Get the more latest news updates