International News Desk – At Home: Gunman arrested in Montreal high school – In Foreign News: Does your Valentine’s Day gift represent a human rights violation?

International News Desk – At Home: Gunman arrested in Montreal high school – In Foreign News: Does your Valentine’s Day gift represent a human rights violation?

At Home: Gunman arrested in Montreal high school

Montreal high school Polyvalente Cavelier-de-Lasalle has a reputation of being a somewhat rough educational centre, where earlier in the week a parent allegedly assaulted his eighth grade child’s gym teacher, punching the man and breaking his nose.

The police are said to have a close relationship with the personnel of Polyvalente because of many incidents of violence between students, siblings, and even parents.

On February 12, a 15-year-old student became involved in a fight during school hours, and when the news spread, his 19-year-old brother charged into the school ready to fight?and armed with a gun.

The brother, Mutlek Amrov, came onto the scene with a loaded handgun, presumably with the intention of protecting his little brother. Following the arrest, the man was denied bail and is currently in jail awaiting sentencing on April 14.

Unfortunately for Amrov, a police body search not only uncovered his loaded weapon but crack cocaine as well. The 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to the possession of the drugs as well as the handgun.

School officials claim it was the quick actions of an unidentified police officer that stopped the incident from escalating further. This is because the officer often checks in at the high school to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Although authorities don’t believe that Amrov intended to use his gun, the circumstances surrounding the arrest, coupled with the fact that he was in possession of drugs at the time, mean that sentencing could be much harsher than if he had simply shown up unarmed and without drugs.

In Foreign News: Does your Valentine’s Day gift represent a human rights violation?

It would be untrue to say that people didn’t put serious thought into their Valentine’s Day gifts. After all, there are a million things to consider when buying flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, or trinkets steeped in personal meaning. It depends who You’re buying for, what relationship you have with them, and how well you know them.

When it comes to human rights, however, chances are not many of us have considered what our most traditional Valentine’s Day gifts?flowers and chocolates?represent.

An activist group made a special Valentine’s Day date with the UN to discuss this issue, and their focus was the major issues of child labour in the West African cocoa industry and sexual harassment and health issues in the South American flower industry.

More than half of the cocoa used in chocolate production worldwide comes from West Africa, a region known for its use of child labour and low plantation wages. In particular, the Ivory Coast has been facing pressure over child labour, and the nations of Ecuador and Colombia employ mostly women for flower production and cultivation and face accusations of sexual harassment as well as unfit working conditions due to poisonous pesticides.

Spokespeople for both industries claim that the Valentine’s Day protest is unnecessary because the appropriate steps are already being taken to protect the rights of workers in Africa and South America: namely, educational programs and high-profile brand agreements with suppliers.

Stephen Pursey, director of policy integration at the International Labour Organization, believes that the awareness needs to be spread to the purchasing public, however.

It does make sense, you must admit; Valentine’s Day is about showing people that you care, so shouldn’t that sentiment be spread to the labourers who create those special gifts?

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