Dushanbe - A Tajik court on Friday handed a 14-year prison sentence to a woman convicted of forcing her adopted daughter into prostitution, court officials said.

"The convicted woman, Djakhon Khilalova, 32, was convicted of nine criminal charges," a court source said.

They included human trafficking, forcing a person into prostitution and trafficking in minors, he said.

Khilalova adopted her daughter, Zarina, from a Dushanbe orphanage four years ago when the child was between nine and 10 years old, the court found.

Last year Khilalova took the teenager first to Dubai and then to Istanbul where she forced the girl to work as a prostitute.

Zarina escaped from her mother in March after the pair returned to Dushanbe. Khilalova was arrested in April.

According to the former Soviet republic's interior ministry at least 16 organised crime groups presently recruit young women for prostitution in Tajikistan, Central Asia's most impoverished nation.

Last week a non-governmental organisation said there was a growing trend in the abduction and sale of Tajik boys for sexual exploitation abroad.

The Modar organisation said groups in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries were prepared to pay as much as $70 000 for a Tajik boy between the ages of 10 and 12.