Juhu Thukral is a leading expert on the rights of low-income and immigrant women in the areas of sexual health and rights, gender-based violence, economic security, and criminal justice. She is a founder of numerous ventures supporting women and LGBT people, and has been recognized as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2012.”
Ms. Thukral is the Director of Law and Advocacy at The Opportunity Agenda, where she leads strategic communications and policy initiatives on economic, immigrant, and gender and sexuality concerns. Prior to this, Ms. Thukral was the founder and Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where she continues to act as a Senior Advisor. She founded the Sex Workers Project in 2001, after recognizing the strong need for an organization that protects the legal and human rights of sex workers. She is also a founding Steering Committee member of the NY Anti-Trafficking Network. In 2010, she co-founded the Women’s 21st Century Salon. Ms. Thukral has extensive experience in developing policy and programmatic initiatives, fundraising and donor education, and managing successful partnerships with diverse arrays of collaborating organizations seeking to make a shared impact.
Ms. Thukral has spoken widely on issues of gender and sexuality, and has authored articles that have appeared in Race-Talk, RH Reality Check, Feministing.com, Research for Sex Work, and SIECUS Report, in addition to in-depth research reports involving human rights documentation and communications research. She has served as an expert source for a wide range of media outlets, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Times, Women’s eNews, NPR, Democracy Now, Good Morning America, NY1, Village Voice, AlterNet and numerous other venues.
Before founding the Sex Workers Project, Ms. Thukral was a Staff Attorney in the Urban Justice Center’s Family Violence Project, where she engaged in legal advocacy for battered women who were dealing with the criminal justice and child welfare systems. In addition, Ms. Thukral was a Blackmun Fellowship Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, and a Ruth Chance Law Fellow at Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco. During these fellowships, she advocated on behalf of low-income and immigrant women on economic justice issues, including sexual harassment and other rights violations, as well as a spectrum of reproductive rights concerns.
She obtained her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she was awarded the Elaine Osborne Jacobson Award for Women in Health Care Law, and her B.A. from Rice University.