Many Australian and New Zealand ophthalmologists contribute to eye care in developingcountries, where poor eye health and scarce or non-existent services are the norm. However,beyond this, the civil, political, social, cultural and economic context in which we work isfrequently unknown to us, or ignored. In these same domains our every action has conse-quences, even if we are oblivious of them. Nothing occurs in isolation. This includes our eyecare interventions. We have to find an alliance broader than with only those involved in eyehealth if we are to effect lasting change. A human rights framework may help us achieve thisif we use it to plan, implement, evaluate and report our work.