In many countries, domestic service is the main source of employment for young girls, who, often on their own, must contend with various difficulties relating to lack of respect, excessive hours, poor lodging, and lack of free time and holidays. This occupation is not governed by regulations and the girls are rarely covered by social security. They lack status and social advantages equivalent to those of young people in other occupations.
Domestic employment in private households is almost non-existent in socialist countries, it is moderate and decreasing in western Europe and North America, and is on a fairly wide but indeterminate scale in many developing countries. In countries of North Africa, for example, young girls under the age of 15 come from the countryside to work as servants in cities for very low wages, or sometimes no wages at all. Anti-Slavery International reports the existence of approximately 3,000 Philippine domestic servants in the UK employed in virtual slavery and "owned" primarily by foreign nationals. Indians, Sri Lankans, Thais and Bangladeshis are caught in similar conditions.