The Senate referred the practice of dowry and incidence of dowry abuse in Australia to the Legal Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report. The committee aimed to explore the nature of dowry as a cultural practice, and the adequacy of current Australian policy settings and legal frameworks regarding dowry and dowry abuse.
Anti-Slavery Australia submits that there are significant gaps in knowledge and practice and that dowry abuse as an indicator of slavery, servitude, forced labour, forced marriage and debt bondage has been largely unrecognised in the Australian context, and underscores a need for greater awareness, training and research. Anti-Slavery Australia makes a number of recommendations relating to:
- Data monitoring;
- Research; and
- Protecting victims of dowry abuse