Mmhonlumo Kikon

Member of Parliament at Nagaland Legislative Assembly

Active in Country: India (Northeast India)

2005 - 15th DTP Annual Program in Timor-Leste

The DTP program was useful in many ways. The module was simple, easy to understand and practical. We learnt the UN system in a way that was easy to identify with. And we were also confident that we were able to use the various UN mechanisms to secure our rights

Mmhonlumo Kikon attended DTP’s 15th DTP Annual Program in Timor-Leste in 2005. At that time, Kikon was a Coordinator at the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights Office in Delhi where he monitored and reported human rights issues and abuses in the Naga areas of India, including Nagaland in Northeast India.  He was a relatively new activist when he participated.

What usually happens for most human rights defenders at the beginning of their career is that we are not exposed to the proper tools, we are not exposed to the understanding of the system that exists on the UN level and on the country-level. The training enabled us to critically look at the systems in place, which was important. Once we understand the system, we would also know ‘what our rights are’ and the rights enshrined at both the UN level and State level.

Some years after the DTP training, Kikon decided to enter politics and was elected to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and served as a Minister, before resigning to resume his role as an MP.  He is still involved in issues of development and human rights – reviewing and proposing legislation, holding officials accountable:

In a lot of my campaigns, I remember the framework on how to prepare a campaign strategy and how to advocate for your causes. Down the years, it has enabled me to develop my own tactics and strategies. The tools that were shared on the program stayed on with me.

Kikon, recently visited the DTP office in Sydney and spoke about the networks he has maintained from his 2005 program.

The friendship remains. The network we have built through this program has enabled us to access a vast pool of resources…It was important for us to have such a network, which you would not find in your own locality. So, in all our struggles, we have been there for each other. This is what I think is DTP’s greatest achievement! - Building a community of human rights, like a family to each other - A positive aspect of the program!

Kikon is keen to collaborate with DTP in producing a training program that trains and educates new human rights advocates from Indigenous communities and other communities on the impacts of climate change - to enable them to confidently formulate a campaign strategy on a national policy level and enabling the voices of the affected communities and the Indigenous communities to be heard in international forums, especially on environmental sustainability/climate change forums.



Interview was conducted in June 2017 and profile written July 2017