Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service says Tajik authorities are considering legislation to deprive convicted pedophiles, brothel keepers, and procurers of parental rights.

The amendment to the Family Code was discussed in the Tajik parliament on January 11.

Last week, civil rights activists called on President Emomali Rahmon and the parliament to "protect minors from sexual abuse."

According to the activists, from January to July last year, 16 cases of sexual assaults against minors were registered in Tajikistan -- in one case the victim of such an attack was a three-year-old girl.

The activists say the real number of such cases is much higher.

The move comes after a court in the western city of Hisor last month sentenced a man to five years in prison for raping a minor, but immediately amnestied him, allowing him to leave the courtroom a free man.

Prostitution is reportedly not criminalized in Tajikistan and legally is regarded as an administrative misdeed, the punishment for which can be a 15-day jail term or a fine of up to US$240.

Running a brothel or procuring women for prostitution is punished by a prison term of up to eight years.