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Dr. Idil Atak

Dr. Idil Atak

Associate Professor, Interim Chair
OfficeJorgenson Hall, Room 828
Phone416-979-5000 Ext. 3255

Office Hours

Thursdays 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., or by appointment


Dr. Idil Atak is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology. She is cross-appointed to the Faculty of Law of Ryerson University. Idil received her PhD from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law. Before joining Ryerson, she was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at McGill University’s Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. From 2017 to 2020, Idil was Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (IJMBS). A past president of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), currently she serves as secretary on the executive committee of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). From 1994 to 2004, Idil was employed as a legal expert by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, Turkey, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.

Currently, Idil Atak is principal investigator on a research project, external link, opens in new window funded by the Government of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award (ERA). This five-year project on the securitization of irregular migration explores the nature and human rights impacts of recent Canadian legislative and policy changes pertaining to two measures directed against irregular migrants: immigration detention and border controls. It offers a critical analysis of the policy consequences of these measures in light of the experiences of some European countries.

Idil Atak also leads the Canada-related portions of the PROTECT, external link, opens in new window project, an international research initiative which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and support from SSHRC. PROTECT studies the impacts of the United Nations Global Refugee Compact and Global Migration Compact on the functioning of the international refugee protection system. The aim is to contribute to legal and doctrinal analyses to discover ways of constructing the legal relationships between the UN Global Compacts, the systems of human rights protection on the global and regional levels, and the 1951 Refugee Convention. PROTECT is being conducted by an international consortium of 11 universities in the European Union, Canada and South Africa. It is led by the University of Bergen in Norway and began in February 2020.


Univeristy Degree
Université de Montréal PhD
Marmara University MA
International Relations and Public Administration, Bogazici University BA


Course Code Course Title
CRM 303 Immigration and Refugee Protection in Criminal Justice
CRM 322 Ethics in Criminal Justice
CR 8001 Social Justice and Criminology MA seminar

Selected Publications


Graham Hudson & Idil Atak (Eds.) Migration, Security and Surveillance: Rescaling Governance at the Global and Local Levels (Oxford: Routledge, 2022).

Idil Atak & James C. Simeon (Eds.) The Criminalization of Migration: Context and Consequences (Montreal : McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018).

Idil Atak, L’européanisation de la lutte contre la migration irrégulière et les droits humains. Une étude des politiques de renvois forcés en France, au Royaume-Uni et en Turquie (Bruxelles : Bruylant, 2011).

Special Issues of Journals

Graham Hudson, Delphine Nakache & Idil Atak (2018). “The Criminalization of Migration”, International Journal on Migration and Border Studies Special Issue, 4(4).

Idil Atak and Speranta Dumitru (2015). « Penser l’ouverture des frontières », Éthique publique, (17)1 [on line]

Papers in Refereed Journals

Claire Ellis, Idil Atak & Zainab Abu Alrob (2021). “Expanding Canada’s Borders”, Forced Migration Review, 68, 33-35., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak, Zainab Abu Alrob & Claire Ellis (2020). “Expanding Refugee Ineligibility : Canada’s Response to Secondary Refugee Movements”, Journal of Refugee Studies, external link, opens in new window.

Idil Atak & Ndeye Dieynaba Ndiaya (2020). « L’Agence Frontex, la police européenne aux frontières au défi du respect des droits humains des migrants », Revue québécoise de droit international. Hors Série 70 ans de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme : L’Europe et les droits de la personne, 369-393.

Idil Atak, Graham Hudson & Delphine Nakache (2019). “Policing Canada’s Refugee System: A Critical Analysis of the Canada Border Services Agency”, International Journal of Refugee Law., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak & Lorielle Giffin (2019). “Canada’s Treatment of Non-Citizens through the Lens of the United Nations Individual Complaints Mechanisms”, Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 56, 292-327. , external link, opens in new window

Jona Zyfi & Idil Atak (2018). “Playing with Lives under the Guise of Fair Play: The Safe Country of Origin Policy in the EU and Canada”, International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 4(4), 345-359.

Idil Atak (2018). ““Safe Country of Origin”: Constructing the Irregularity of Asylum Seekers in Canada”, International Migration56(6), 176-190., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak, Graham Hudson & Delphine Nakache (2018). “The Securitization of Canada’s Refugee System: Reviewing the Unintended Policy Consequences”, Refugee Survey Quarterly37(1), 1-24., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak (2018). La mesure relative au « pays d’origine désignés » : Une analyse des liens entre les politiques d’asile et la migration irrégulière au Canada, Migration Société171(1), 19-34.

Idil Atak & François Crépeau (2017). “A Legacy of Fragmentation”, in Th. Cottier and K. N. Schaefer (eds.), Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law, Northampton, Edward Elgar Publishing, 494-496.

François Crépeau & Idil Atak (2016). “Global Migration Governance: Avoiding Commitments on Migration, Yet Tracing a Course for Cooperation”, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights34(2), 110-143.

Chapters in Books

Idil Atak, Claire Ellis & Zainab Abu Alrob (2022), “Refugee System as a Bordering Site: Security, Surveillance and the Rights of Asylum Seekers in Canada”, in G. Hudson and Idil Atak (Eds.), Migration, Security and Surveillance: Rescaling governance at the global and local levels, Oxford: Routledge.

Mireille Paquet, Noémie Benoît, Idil Atak, Meghan Joy, Graham Hudson & John Shields (2021). “Sanctuary Cities and Covid-19: The Case of Canada”, in A. Triandafyllidou (Ed.), Migration and Pandemics. Spaces of Solidarity and Spaces of Exception, Springer. IMISCOE.

Idil Atak (2021), “’A Responsible and Committed City’: Montréal’s Sanctuary Policy”, in H. Sanders and L. Faret (Eds.), Cities Protecting Migrants: Critical Perspectives on Urban Sanctuary and Hospitality in the Americas, Palgrave MacMillan Publishing, 105-130.

Idil Atak & François Crépeau (2021). “Migrants as Refugees”, in C. Costello, M. Foster and J. McAdam (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook on International Refugee Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 134-151.

Idil Atak (2019). “Toronto’s Sanctuary City Policy: Rationale and Barriers”, in J. Darling and H. Bauder (Eds.), Sanctuary Cities and Urban Struggles: Rescaling Migration, Citizenship and Rights, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 105-130.

Idil Atak (2019). “The Criminalization of Migration in Canada and its Unintended Consequences”, in M. Ruiz, C. Menjivar and I. Ness (Eds.), Handbook on Migration Crises, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 2. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190856908.013.41

Idil Atak & François Crépeau (2018). “Legal Status and Vulnerabilities” in T. Basaran and E. Guild (Eds.), Global Labour and the Migrant PremiumThe Cost of Living Abroad, London and New York: Routledge, 10-17.

Idil Atak (2018). « Immigration et réfugiés », Fascicule 19 (Revised and Updated. First publication 2011), in Jurisclasseur Québec- Droit constitutionnel, Feuilles volantes, Montreal : LexisNexis, 82 p.

Idil Atak (2018). “An International Human Rights Framework for Migration in a Globalising World” in A. Triandafyllidou (Ed.), Handbook of Migration and Globalisation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, Chapter 1, 17-37.

Idil Atak (2017). « La lutte contre migration irrégulière en Europe et au Canada :
Une étude comparative de l’efficacité et de l’impact du droit d’asile » in N. Neuwahl (Ed.), Coherence and Incoherence in Migration Management and Integration, Montreal : Themis, 25-53.

Research Reports

Idil Atak, Delphine Nakache, Elspeth Guild & François Crépeau (2018). “Migrants in Vulnerable Situations” and the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration”, Queen Mary University of London Working Paper Series.

Idil Atak, Graham Hudson & Delphine Nakache (2017). “‘Making Canada’s Refugee System Faster and Fairer’: Reviewing the Stated Goals and Unintended Consequences of the 2012 Reform”, Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) Working Paper Series 2017/3.

*Graham Hudson, Idil Atak, Michele Manocchi & Charity Ann Hannan (2017).  “(No)Access T.O.: A Pilot Study on Sanctuary City Policy in Toronto, Canada”, Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS) Working Paper, 1.

Other Publications (Non-Refereed)

Idil Atak & Delphine Nakache (2021, February 1). A critical look at Canada’s implementation of the Global Compact for Migration. Refugee Law Initiative., external link, opens in new window  

Jona Zyfi, Zainab Abu Alrob & Idil Atak (2020). Canada’s Response to the Global Compact on Refugees: Are we doing enough? The Migration Initiative, Policy Discussions.

Idil Atak (Hiver 2020-2021). “Droits des réfugiés: Un jugement important” in Relations, No. 811, 7-8.

Idil Atak (December 2019). “Participation des migrant-e-s sans statut à l’espace public », Revue Droits et Libertés, Espace public… pour qui?

Idil Atak (2019). « Que peut le droit en situation migratoire? » in Centre Justice et Foi, Vivre Ensemble, Migrations et Droit : Un Défi Démocratique, Montreal.

PDF fileIdil Atak (December 2019). “International Journal of Migration and Border Studies”, World Migration Report 2020, International Organization for Migration (IOM), 335-338., external link, opens in new window

Delphine Nakache and Idil Atak (May 2019). “GCM Indicators. Objective 7: Address and Reduce Vulnerabilities in Migration”, Refugee Law Initiative Blog on Refugee Law and Forced Migration., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak and Delphine Nakache (October 2018). “GCM Commentary. Objective 7: Address and Reduce Vulnerabilities in Migration”, Refugee Law Initiative Blog on Refugee Law and Forced Migration, available at:

*Idil Atak and Vanessa C. Wachuku (2017). “Protecting the Human Rights of Forced Migrants in an Era of “Migration Crises””, Inderscience Publishers Autumn 2017 Highlights., external link, opens in new window

Idil Atak (September 2017). « Criminalisation de la migration irrégulière: Des effets contreproductifs sur les droits humains », Vivre Ensemble, Bulletin de Liaison pour le Droit d’Asile, No. 164, Geneva, 13-16.