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Idil Atak

Idil Atak

Associate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Criminology; Faculty of Arts; Lincoln Alexander School of Law
Areas of ExpertiseIrregular migration, refugee protection, securitization of migration and human rights law

Idil Atak is an associate professor within the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University and the Faculty of Arts’ Criminology Department. She received her PhD from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law. She was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism. Atak is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (IJMBS). She is a member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration’s (IASFM) executive committee and a past president of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS). From 1994 to 2004, Atak served as a legal expert for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.


Idil Atak and 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

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

« Penser l’ouverture des frontières », external link (2015) 17:1 Éthique publique (with Speranta Dumitru).

Papers in Refereed Journals

“Policing Canada’s Refugee System: A Critical Analysis of the Canada Border Services Agency”, external link (2019) 31:4 International Journal of Refugee Law, 464-491 (with Graham Hudson and Delphine Nakache). 

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

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

“Safe Country of Origin: Constructing the Irregularity of Asylum Seekers in Canada”, external link (2018) 56:6 International Migration, 176-190. 

“The Securitization of Canada’s Refugee System: Reviewing the Unintended Policy Consequences” , external link(2018) 37:1 Refugee Survey Quarterly, 1-24 (with Graham Hudson and Delphine Nakache). 

« La mesure relative au ‹ pays d’origine désignés › : Une analyse des liens entre les politiques d’asile et la migration irrégulière au Canada » (2018) 171:1 Migration Société, 19-34.

“Global Migration Governance: Avoiding Commitments on Migration, Yet Tracing a Course for Cooperation” (2016) 34:2 Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 110-143 (with François Crépeau).

Chapters in Books

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

Idil Atak, “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, 2019), 105-130.

Idil Atak, “The Criminalization of Migration in Canada and its Unintended Consequences.”, external link in M. Ruiz, C. Menjivar and I. Ness (eds.), Handbook on Migration Crises (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). 

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

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

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

Idil Atak,. « 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, 2017), 25-53.

Research Reports

“‘Migrants in Vulnerable Situations’ and the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration” (2018) 273 Queen Mary University of London Working Paper Series (with Delphine Nakache, Elspeth Guild and François Crépeau).

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

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

SSHRC Horizon 2020, “The Right to International Protection: A Pendulum Between Globalization and Nativization?,” 2020-2023, principal investigator

Early Researcher Award, Government of Ontario, “Balancing Security and Human Rights,” 2019-2024, principal investigator

SSHRC Insight, “Securitization of Migration and Asylum in Canada: A Comparative Analysis of Policy Consequences and Human Rights Impact,” 2014-2020, principal investigator

SSHRC Insight, “Examination of Protection and Assistance Measures for Foreign Nationals Trafficked to Canada,” 2019-2023, co-applicant

SSHRC Insight, “Pathways Into and Out of Irregularity for Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada: A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis,” 2018-2023, co-applicant

SSHRC Insight, “Sanctuary Cities in Canada: A Socio-Legal Study,” 2018-2023, co-applicant

Best International Thesis Award, Centre d’Études et Recherches Internationales, Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM), 2012

Degree Institution Year
LLD (Doctor of Laws) Université de Montréal 2010
LLD (Doctor of Laws) University of Marmara 1993
MA (Master of Arts, Social Sciences) University of Marmara 1993
BA (Bachelor of Arts, Public Administration and International Relations) University of Bogazici 1991