The Mediterranean Sea is particularly affected by illicit trafficking in drugs. Italy's Public Security Department of the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for all initiatives aimed at preventing and combating illicit drug trafficking in Italy and is also entrusted with planning and coordinating sea activities. In the last few years, a set of international rules has been drawn up to facilitate intervention at sea and standardize control procedures. In the field of drug trafficking, ad hoc European regulations have been developed and two centers for analysis and coordination in operations against drug trafficking at sea set up. However, Italy - while participating in the most recent operational cooperation initiatives - has not yet ratified the Council of Europe agreement implementing article 17 of the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. It would be desirable to adopt more comprehensive legislative measures and establish intervention criteria for all law enforcement actors involved.
1. The Main Routes of Drug Trafficking
2. The Legal Framework
3. Domestic Legislation and Human Rights Protection
4. Recent Developments in Anti-drug Maritime Cooperation
5. Conclusions and Policy Recommendations