Macedonia's parliament has adopted a bill imposing chemical castration on repeat offenders convicted of sexually abusing children — but the country's leading child protection group says the law is still too lenient.

The Megjasi child protection group, which had campaigned for the procedure to be imposed on pedophiles, said Wednesday the penalty should be mandatory for first time offenders.

Lawmakers voted Monday to make penalties harsher for convicted pedophiles, increasing the maximum sentence to life imprisonment and imposing chemical castration on second-time offenders, with the procedure to be imposed on their release from prison. The legislation also offers reduced prison sentences to first-time offenders agreeing to undergo the procedure voluntarily.

Megjasi head Dragi Zmijanac said imposing the treatment after the first offence would prevent a convict re-offending on release.