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Cyprus

Ministry to investigate welfare department after teen found dead

The ministry of labour on Sunday expressed its sorrow at the death of a 14-year-old child in the Nicosia district this week and said a review of how the welfare department acted over the incident is already underway.

In a statement, the ministry said the investigation began on Saturday and will be completed by Tuesday.

The teenager was found dead by his father on Thursday evening at a farm in a village within the Nicosia district.

Reports suggested the boy had been forced to abandon school to work and provide for his family.

If the investigation finds any officials from the welfare department lacking the necessary disciplinary or criminal procedures will begin without delay, the ministry statement said. If the investigation reveals shortcomings by staff of other ministries, this information will be sent to the relevant department, it added.

For their own safety, the remaining children of the family have been removed to a safe place, the ministry said.

Child commissioner Leda Koursoumba on Friday said if reports of psychological problems and domestic violence were true, then it should be investigated whether the state services knew about these and what they did “to prevent this tragic incident.”

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