Country Profile: India


India has been a member of the Human Rights Council (HRC) for four terms in 2006-07, 2007-10, 2011-14, and 2014-17.

Thematic Issues

India has been a main sponsor of resolutions on mental health, national institutions, business and human rights, regional cooperation and elimination of all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief. It has also co-sponsored resolutions on health, judicial independence and other themes.

Freedom of Assembly and of Association

India co-sponsored a resolution on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in September 2010.

Freedom of Opinion and Expression

India co-sponsored a resolution on freedom of opinion and expression in September 2009, and on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights and the Internet in June 2012. It has also co-sponsored resolutions on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in 2008 and 2011.

Human Rights Defenders

India has not sponsored resolutions on human rights defenders. It has actively participated in debates on civil society space resolutions. However, this engagement has been counterintuitive to the spirit of the resolution as it questions the nature of civil society and proposes amendments limiting its ability to operate through restrictions on funding.

Country-Specific Issues

India has also only co-sponsored one country-specific resolution on Afghanistan. India has voted in favour of resolutions on Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Golan Heights, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Syria. It has voted against resolutions on Iran and Belarus. India chose to abstain from resolutions on Iran, Palestine, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Ukraine.

India has not engaged with the Council on many country-specific resolutions, showing a distinct hesitation to promote country specific scrutiny. However, it has voted in favour of 31 resolutions on Palestine, showing support towards the Palestinian cause. It has also engaged with resolutions calling for the promotion of reconciliation, accountability and human rights in neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Universal Periodic Review

During the second cycle of the UPR, India was reviewed on 24 May 2012. It accepted 56 recommendations of 170 and noted 114.

Recommendations received focused broadly on torture, international instruments, women’s rights, rights of the child, the death penalty and health. Human rights defenders, national human rights institution, minorities, civil society, freedom of religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender identity, and disabilities were also mentioned.

As a recommending state, India has made recommendations broadly focused upon women’s rights, national human rights institutions, development, justice, the ratification of international instruments, health, rights of the child and disabilities.