Oil, sex, and temporary migration: The case of Vienna City, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana

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Journal Article
Extractive Industries and Society, 2014, 1 (1), pp. 69 - 74
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Does the presence of temporary sex migrants trailing a resource boom cause crime, lead to a breakdown of morality, trigger a crisis of sexually transmitted diseases, and depress property values? While popular representations suggest that the answer to each of these questions is an emphatic 'yes', and hence the 'right to the city' of sex workers should be revoked, preliminary primary data unobtrusively and indirectly collected from sex workers trailing a resource boom in a West African port city suggest that the posited direct connection between prostitution and socio-economic 'bads' is not always definitive. Further research is required to probe popular characterisations of temporary sex migrants, the effect of sex work on resource-rich cities, and how they vary at different stages of the oil industry. For now, however, the evidence suggests that there is the need for alternative urbanism that recognises sex workers' 'right to the city' in ways that can make the state use its powers to support rather than exclude such minority groups. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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