Upon attaining his law degree in 1983, Colin Gonsalves co-founded the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and developed it into a national organization that brought together over 200 lawyers and paralegals operating out of 28 offices spread throughout India. He has brought numerous precedent-setting cases to the Supreme Court of India and the appellate-level High Courts of various states. Amongst these cases was the infamously labeled "Right to Food" case, which involved one of the greatest expansions of constitutional rights seen by the Indian society in the last several decades. Gonsalves has written, edited and co-edited copious number of articles and books on a range of human rights law issues. For such inspiring work, he was presented with the International Human Rights Award by the American Bar Association in 2005. Most recently, in 2010, he has been conferred a Doctorate of the University, honoris causa, by the University of Middlesex, UK. He was also given the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice "in recognition of remarkable contribution in legal services addressing human rights" in 2010. In 2017, Gonsalves was honored with the Right Livelihood Award.