10/31/2012 08:31 am ET

5 Ways To Ensure Your Halloween Chocolate Is Conflict Free

As you stock up on sweets for your local trick-or-treaters, make sure no child was put at risk to produce the chocolates you hand out.

According to Stop the Traffick, an anti-trafficking group, 1.8 million children are subjected to backbreaking labor on West African cocoa farms, from which 70 percent of the world's chocolate derives. Kids are taken from their parents with promises of honest work and money for their family and then forced to endure harsh labor and physical abuse, according to a 2001 exposé.

"The beatings were a part of my life," Aly Diabate, a freed slave from Mali, said. "Anytime they loaded you with bags and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead, they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again."

While Halloween candy sales are expected to hit $32 billion this year (up from $24.7 billion in 2007), according to the Chicago Tribune, the holiday is just as big an opportunity for revelers to take a major stand against the chocolate companies that enable child slavery.

Click through the slideshow below to learn how you can buy conflict-free chocolate and fight to put an end to child slavery in the cocoa industry.

5 Ways To Get Conflict-Free Chocolate