"Virtually no attention" has been paid to why people carry out hate crimes in Scotland, the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRCS) has said.
The commission said the number of hate crimes in the country was rising, but there was still a "critical need" for programmes to prevent reoffending.
The body has launched the UK's first international study into how hate crime offenders could be rehabilitated.
As it launched the Rehabilitation of Hate Crime Offenders report, the EHRCS said there were "record levels" of racially motivated crime recorded in Scotland, with more than 6,200 incidents recorded between 2009 and 2010.
It also found two-thirds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland had reported being verbally abused or threatened, with more than a third reporting being physically attacked, and disabled people were four times more likely to be the victim of a crime than other people and twice as likely to be the victim of a violent attack.
Kaliani Lyle of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "This report highlights the critical need for rehabilitation programmes for hate crime offenders.
"Given the serious nature of this type of crime, and the detrimental and sustained impact that it has on victims, we need to improve our knowledge base about hate crime offenders and what motivates them, and develop strategies to tackle and reduce the problem and reoffending rates.
"Legislation on its own is not the magic solution. We need to plug the knowledge gap that currently exists when it comes to changing behaviours and attitudes, and draw on existing expertise to develop a nationwide approach."
The report puts forward recommendations for designing and delivering programmes that challenge offenders' motivations and help rehabilitate them.
The recommendations are aimed at community justice authorities and prison service managers in Scotland, and at third sector organisations working in partnership with statutory agencies to provide programmes for offenders.
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