India on Thursday abstained from voting on a draft resolution at the 51st Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang region.

A tweet by the UN Human Rights Council read, "Draft resolution A/HRC/51/L.6 on holding a debate on the situation of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of #China, was REJECTED."

A blow to the West, the draft resolution was presented by a core group consisting of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, UK and USA, and co-sponsored by a range of states, including Turkey, in the 47-member Council.

While the countries tried to rally support for a debate on the allegations of human rights abuse of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang province by the Chinese state, only 17 members voted in favour. 19 members voted against, including China, Pakistan, and Nepal. 11 members abstained, including India, Brazil, Mexico, and Ukraine.

Despite the findings of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in August that crimes against humanity may have occurred in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, there was no consensus among UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) member states.

Human rights activists and organisations have reacted sharply to the developments at the council. Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said, "Today’s vote protects the perpetrators of human rights violations rather than the victims—a dismaying result that puts the UN’s main human rights body in the farcical position of ignoring the findings of the UN’s own human rights office."

Since 2017, there has been extensive documentation of China’s crackdown against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, carried out under the guise of fighting terrorism.