The meeting comes following the publication of the latest Crown Office report into “Hate Crime in Scotland” and in advance of a Scottish Government summit planned on hate crime later in the year.
Out gay Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi who hosted the event said: “The Scottish Government is clear in its belief that there is absolutely no excuse for any form of hate crime in our society. It is simply not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“We believe that everyone has the right to be safe and to feel safe in their communities, and we are committed to creating and supporting safer and stronger communities in which we all take responsibility for our actions and how they affect others.
“The number of hate crimes across Scotland has fallen compared to last year’s statistics with the exception of disability. Even with this increase, hate crimes committed against disabled people are widely believed to be underreported and the statistics remain low for disability in comparison to other characteristics.
“We will continue to work with key partners including Police Scotland and the Crown Office to address this and do more to raise awareness and encourage reporting by disabled people.
“Undoubtedly international events have had an impact in our communities in Scotland and whilst we cannot be held responsible for the actions of overseas Governments and other groups, it is concerning to see rises in relation to hate crime that impacts on both our Jewish and Muslim communities in Scotland.
“All such crimes must be investigated thoroughly and we will continue to work closely with Muslim and Jewish organisations to improve the lives of people within our communities.
“Whilst we have seen a reduction in instances of hate crime relating to sexual orientation, gender identity and race, any instance is still one to many. Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or racism in whatever form, against any community is simply unacceptable.
“Scotland is becoming a more tolerant country but we are not complacent. We have invested more than £60 million from the Equality budget during 2012-15 to advance equality and tackle discrimination, and are investing over £20 million in 2015-16 to do likewise.
“I commend the efforts of Police Scotland and the Crown Office who are showing strong leadership in this area. Together we will show we truly are One Scotland and will continue to work with all of you to completely eradicate hate crime from our society.”
Commenting on the news, Rob McDowall, chair of the Scottish Charity LGBT Network, told KaleidoScot: “While I am pleased to read that LGBT reported hate crime has reduced in Scotland last year, I am dismayed to see that crimes motivated by prejudice against disabled people have not.
“There is still significant work to be done on challenging hate towards disabled people and those identifying as transgender within Scotland.
“I am sure Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service recognise that there is a stark difference between reported crimes and those actually taking place.
“However, we recgonise that many hate-crimes go unreported, both because of continual prejudice by wider society and the perception that Police Scotland is also affected by it.
“The most vulnerable within our society are often more reluctant to make unsupported complaints and much more attention needs to be taken to recognise and record those victims targeted due to more than one characteristic.”