Campaign To Abolish Reporting

On Friday 28th June, the Resistance Kitchen was privileged to join the campaign to Abolish Reporting for asylum seekers. Activists from diverse groups including Migrants Organise, set up an information stall outside Lunar House to help asylum seekers challenge the draconian ‘reporting immigration bail conditions’ imposed on them.

Asylum seekers have to report to a designated Home Office reporting centre, often every week, for years whilst they wait the outcome of their asylum application. Every reporting appointment carries the risk of being randomly disappeared to a detention centre indefinitely, and every visit brings fear, worry and anxiety. Reporting conditions amount to unfair, unjust and unnecessary harassment of migrants, and must be abolished.

The Abolish Reporting Campaign was launched in March 2021, by Migrants Organise and These Walls Must Fall. It is part of a wider campaign  to abolish the surveillance of migrants.

Background - Hostile Environment

In 2012 the UK Home Office introduced its Hostile Environment Policy. Home secretary Theresa May said “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants”. The policy unleashed administrative and legislative measures designed to make staying in the United Kingdom as difficult as possible for asylum seekers, with the aim that they “voluntarily” leave. These policies, contrary to the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention, have been shown to target people of colour in particular.

As part of this official policy to create a “hostile environment” for asylum seekers, the home office is insisting all asylum seekers report to the Home Office reporting centre regularly, often every week – sometimes everyday! If they are late, or miss their appointment then their asylum claim may be adversely affected, even terminated, they can be arrested and imprisoned at a detention centre and deported.


If they do attend their reporting appointment, the appointment still carries the risk of being randomly taken to a detention centre, locked up for an indefinite period of time – years sometimes,  and threatened with deportation.

We saw this fast tracked when the Rwanda policy was rolled out – every day loved ones were being disappeared. They would enter Lunar House to sign on,  with their family waiting outside, only to be abducted, smuggled out via the back exits in unmarked vans to detention centres in Gatwick or Heathrow ready to be deported to Rwanda, whilst their families were still waiting outside, clueless of the abduction. Although Rwanda as a destination had now been scrapped, the deportation policy still remains.

The people we spoke to had a real fear of being kidnapped and deported every time they entered Lunar House to sign on.

Lunar House

Lunar House in Croydon is one of only two Home Office reporting centres for London and the surrounding regions. So every week thousands of asylum seekers are forced to travel long distances – often without financial assistance – to Croydon for reporting whilst they await their initial asylum application decision.


We met one person forced to travel every week from Kent, another’s journey took 3 hours to get to Lunar House. Another person told us that he was promised an e-ticket via email for his expensive journey involving 3 train changes. It never arrived. He chased it up but was put on hold for over 30 minutes. In the end he had to buy his own train ticket, which he can’t afford, to ensure he was not late for his reporting appointment.


The initial wait for a decision can take many years. Croydon council figures suggest 2-4 years wait times is typical for asylum seekers in Croydon. But we met asylum seekers still waiting after nine and a half years years, forced to come every week to report at Lunar House. The Trussell Trust report on Hunger in the UK (June, 2023) documents an asylum seeker still waiting after 20 years!

And this initial waiting is just the start – many cases are seemingly automatically rejected with 52% being granted refugee status only after appealing the decision, and further waiting whilst their appeal is considered.

Forced Destitution

Whilst they wait all these years, they are not allowed to work, and are barred from welfare system funding, forcing them into destitution. They have to survive on just £7.03 a day (July 2024) to cover food, clothing, sanitation, non-prescription medication, transport and everything else (this goes down to just £1.27 a day if food is provided). Their children are denied access to education whilst they are in initial accommodation (like Brigstock House – a few streets from our kitchen) which can be for several years.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundations 2023 report on Destitution in the UK reveals that asylum seekers make up 8% of the destitute population of the UK. Our own research shows that 14% of those attending our food kitchen are asylum seekers, 17% of which are severely food insecure – not having eaten for a whole day or more in the last month due to not being able to afford food.

Challenging Reporting Conditions

There are circumstances if met can be used to challenge an individuals reporting conditions, to switch from in-person signing-in to telephone or digital signing-in.

These include:

  • Having to sign in more that once a week
  • Disabilities or medical conditions that worsen during reporting
  • Having to pay yourself for your travel costs for reporting
  • Travelling takes more than 1 hour to reach the reporting centre
  • If you have children that you have to bring to your reporting appointments
  • If you are supported and accommodated by social services
  • If you are a child (under 18)
  • If you are a victim of trafficking

Activists at the stall, over a cup of coffee and biscuits, advised asylum seekers of these rights to challenge their reporting conditions.

Campaign Successes

The Home Office has insisted that in-person reporting was not negotiable and was needed to “manage” immigration in the UK. Even at the start of the pandemic, during lockdown, the Home Office insisted that asylum seekers endanger themselves and others by travelling long distances on public transport to report in-person, often every week – sometimes everyday! It was only after persistent campaigning, protests and lobbying ministers that the Home Office finally relented, and admitted that in-person reporting is not necessary, and switched to telephone reporting. If implemented properly, telephone reporting has the potential of being much less intrusive and burdensome on people’s lives than physical reporting.

Unfortunately since then, the Home  Office has once again, with no explanation, insisted on in-person reporting. The campaign continues…

More information:
Help raise awareness by sharing