Treatment of Uyghur Muslims: India abstains from voting at UNHRC

India abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang.

India abstain from voting against China at UNHRC
India abstain from voting against China at UNHRC

India abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang on October 6, 2022.

The draft resolution on “holding a debate on the situation of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China” was rejected by the 47-member Council. 17 members voted in favour and 19 members voted against China, and 11 abstentions, including India, Brazil, Ukraine, and Mexico. Pakistan voted against the resolution and India has never supported country-specific issues in the Human Rights Council.

Who represented the draft resolution?

A core group presented the draft resolution. The group consisted of Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Finland, the UK, Iceland, the USA, Iceland, and Norway, and co-sponsored by a range of states, including Turkey.

Draft resolution: Key details

  1. For the first time, the UN’s top human rights body reviewed a proposal to debate the human rights situation in the Xinjiang region of China.
  2. While the Council’s failure to accept the proposal is an abdication of responsibility and a betrayal of Uyghur victims, the extremely related vote highlights the growing number of states willing to take a stand on principle and bring a spotlight on China’s sweeping rights violations.
  3. Serious allegations of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other dominating Muslim communities in China were introduced and brought to the attention of the UN Human Rights Office and UN human rights mechanisms two to three years back.

What is the Xinjiang Uyghur Region of China?

Xinjiang is an autonomous territory in northwest China. It is a huge region of deserts and mountains. Many ethnic minority groups, including the Turkic Uyghur people, live here. The ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Middle East passed through Xinjiang, a legacy that can be found in the traditional open-air bazaars of its oasis cities, Hotan and Kashgar

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