Indian Journal of International Law

, Volume 57, Issue 1–2, pp 87–120 | Cite as

India’s role in the Human Rights Council: Is there a constitutional vision in its foreign policy?

  • Arvind NarrainEmail author


This article seeks to understand the nature of India’s interventions in the Human Rights Council spanning the areas of civil and political rights, country specific resolutions, socio-economic rights and emerging issues such as sexual orientation and gender identity. India’s voting at the Human Rights Council indicates a preference for either abstaining or diluting human rights concerns when it comes to civil and political rights. With respect to country specific resolutions India has been either hostile or indifferent, except in the case of Sri Lanka and Palestine. With respect to socio-economic rights, India has been more proactive especially with respect to resolutions on access to medicine and human rights and trans-national corporations. India’s overall record at the Human Rights Council indicates a country which does not seem to think that Constitutional values which govern the country internally need to be promoted internationally. Very often there is a marked divergence between the self image of India as the world’s largest democracy and the way India votes in the Human Rights Council.


Human Rights Council Civil and political rights Socio-economic rights Country resolutions Sexual orientation and gender identity Indian Constitution 

Copyright information

© The Indian Society of International Law 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arc InternationalGenevaSwitzerland

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