IT is one of the fast- growing blights on the global landscape and has been described as “an abomination of humanity” by screen star Gillian Anderson.

Now an Academy Award-winning director has urged Scots to join the crusade against human trafficking, in advance of a new film being shown in Aberdeen and St Andrews.

Jeffrey D Brown and Anderson, star of TV shows The X Files and The Fall, have been pivotal figures in the production of Sold, which will be shown at Aberdeen University on January 23 and St Andrews University on January 26.

They launched the project in response to revelations by the International Labour Organization that more than 45 million people, a vast number of them children, are living as slaves across the world.

Anderson plays the lead role in Sold as an American photographer who discovers the horrific extent of child trafficking in India.

She said: “At certain points in one’s life, one realises there are issues that break your heart.

“I have been involved in many charities over the years, but the issue of trafficking, particularly child trafficking for sex, is such an abomination of humanity I couldn’t not do something.

“It is the fastest-growing black market in the world at the moment. It is sometimes easier to traffick humans than it is to traffic drugs.”

Mr Brown, who won an Oscar in 1986 for his short film Molly’s Pilgrim, added: “We want to use Sold as a tool for change. Only an estimated eight per cent of the UK population truly understand the scale of the slavery. How can we work to prevent children from being trafficked if so many are unaware of the whole issue?

“By showing Sold, we are ensuring as many people as possible are made aware of this horrific crime and then we can maybe tackle its root cause. This is not just a film, it is a campaign.”