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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.


This article focuses on Indigenous Girls in Western Canada. Aside from the stats, we can be sure that the risks are similar wherever the young people are from.

  • The increase in social media access has increased the recruitment and grooming ability of traffickers
  • "A study by Heather Molyneaux and colleagues (2014) of Indigenous people in isolated reserve communities found that individuals engaging in daily social media use were more likely to travel to cities outside their territory." This can be transferred to any individual that may have isolation, self-esteem, social anxiety as mitigating factors to their social media use.
  • Social media applications create a private platform away from family, friends, and school supports which will increase the risks for young people. Adults are often unaware of what is happening and/or even if they do know how to navigate they may be naive to what they should be looking for. Platforms like snapchat, where the info "disappears" are extremely risky.
  • Social media allows for an anonymity of the trafficker to a large degree amd increases access to the young person.
  • Social media means that the traffickers and "johns" have easy, consistent access to the young person. "The emergence of social media has made it possible for any environment with an Internet connection or smartphone signal to become a hub of sex trade activity, normalizing exploitation and creating hazardous environments out of previously safe spaces."
  • Culturally relevant education is key. Teaching not only young people of the risk but also the adults in their lives what to look for and how to look for it is critical.
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